In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
Antibiotic-resistant infections are alarmingly on the rise, and many people are looking for sound information on herbal alternatives to standard antibiotics. In this indispensable reference, herbal expert Stephen Harrod Buhner explains the roots of antibiotic resistance, explores the value of herbal treatments, and provides in-depth profiles of 30 valuable herbs, noting for each one its antibiotic properties, methods for collection and preparation, dosages, potential side effects, contraindications, and alternatives. As we prepare for the end of antibiotics, this comprehensive guide is a must-have in every family's medicine cabinet.